First U.S. Consulate in Afghanistan Inaugurated
June 13, 2012
Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns officially inaugurated the first United States consulate in Afghanistan during a ceremony in Herat on June 13.
In his address to senior Afghan officials, civil society representatives, business leaders, and consulate staff, the Deputy Secretary described Herat as a city with a rich cultural history and tremendous economic potential, and a vital place for a United States diplomatic presence. The consulate, he said, reaffirmed the long-term commitment of the United States to Afghanistan’s success and the indelible bonds of friendship between our people.
Today’s ceremony was attended by Herat Governor Saba, Farah Governor Khpalwak, and Badghis Deputy Governor Sabiri—representing three of the four provinces comprising the Herat consular district. The Deputy Secretary expressed special appreciation to Governor Saba for his staunch support for a U.S. diplomatic presence in Herat.
The consulate facility opened on March 12, 2012 after almost two years of restorations. The ceremony recognized Afghan contributions to the renovated building. An average of 70 skilled Afghan craftsmen and carpenters worked on the project each day and substantial local products were used. Original artworks by Herat University students and faculty and photos of Herat by David Hume Kennerly are on display in the Consulate foyer.